Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Premier Fils, circa 1900-1910
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Vintage Absinthe

Obviously, no vendor information is available for this absinthe other than that which appears in historical documents, which can be found at

Average Score 62

Reviewed by JMFRANC 12/8/05

Being 100 years old and well preserved the color, very similar to the original, was more yellow than green and somewhat unimpressive.

Louche was simply thin and very gradual. No swirls of thickness and no visible "cloud" that usually forms. It just changed to an off-white gradually.

This was not bad at all but did appear thin - even when just watering until the thin clear layer was gone

AROMA 20/30
The nose was nothing like I had expected. Incredibly light and I would describe it as a watered-down perfume that was originally a light floral.

Not as thin as it looked but had far to go before I would consider it "thick", still, not that bad, I had to score it at least a 7.

TASTE 11/20
Here is where the lowest marks are to be given. You almost swear that a perfume was part of the mix. It lacked any clear characteristics but "sweet liquorish" and "perfume" and was simply not that pleasant. Thank God they don't all taste like this.

I am not that sorry to say that I will probably never finish what I bought (except for the price) - it's one you could avoid while looking for vintage Edouard Pernod and Pernod Fils. This seems like a drink that somehow got watered down and then spritzed with a thin floral perfume. Save your money.

JMFRANC scores Premier Fils 62 out of 100

IPB Image
Also, this was a straight test - first drink of the night.
Sad to read your disappointment, specially for the price you must have paid the bottle...
Heure Verte
Very surprising.
Somehow, every vintage absinthe is not as good as we should expect. Without being an absolute happiness, it's worth trying just to know how it's taste ?

I wonder why some vintage absinthes like Pernod Fils or Edouard Pernod went brown and some others like Premier Fils stayed really green. Probably the recipe ? Or the alcool used ? Why chlorophyl acted differently ? Today, there are also some absinthes going from green to brown some months after opening.
The samples JMFranc is referring to came from me - but this isn't how I experienced this absinthe.

What it showed me, more than anything, was how much variety there is in vintage absinthe. Every brand I've tasted has been different from the others, and this is particularly true of the Premier Fils, which I found very light, but complex and subtle. It's not a blockbuster like Pernod Fils or Berger, but I don't think it was intended to be: it was (to judge from the surviving posters and adverts) targeted at an entirely female market - and was clearly formulated to be light and refreshing, not a herbal powerhouse.

Comparing it to Pernod Fils is a bit like comparing a Lowland malt like Rosebank, to an Islay like Ardbeg or Laphroaig - in a tasting the heavier, more pungent whisky will almost always get a higher score, but the comparison is rather unfair - the Lowland is distilled to achieve specific aims - lightness and freshness - that stand in direct contradiction to the oily intensity that the Islay distillers aim for.
Thank you for posting your review! I agree with many of the points that you made, as they seem pretty consistent to mine. We both came to similar ends with the color and the louche of the Premier Fils. Yes, it was still a bit green but at the same time it was just not that impressive. I try and mark each absinthe as I experience them at the time. Should we give special marks for an absinthe just because it is pre-ban? I gave both the Pernod Fils and Edouard Pernod very high marks in regard to their color. Would I give them similar marks still today? I am not sure.

Every photo that I have seen of vintage Pernod had what has been described as a feuille morte color. The samples that I had in the past were no different. Yes, they are a bit brown in color but when they were held to the light there was still a slight green hue to them. After seeing the photos of the samples that were extracted from the Cannes Cache I must admit my surprise, they were still quite green!

This caused me to rethink my initial view of the samples that I had a while back. Were they really worth such high marks? At the time I felt that yes they were. When initially bottled, the Pernod Fils was in fact perfectly colored and the natural process of aging caused them to fade to the rich amber color we all now refer to as feuille morte. Now I wonder how much of the feuille morte color comes from an absinthe being exposed to air or light over the years. Should it then be subjected to penalizing marks? I wonder then, is it fair to rate an absinthe so high just because it is vintage? I am not sure?

Should I go back and change my review? No, I don't think so. Oxy mentioned a while back that as more reviews come in we would see a balance the ratings. When I sampled Pernod Fils and Edouard I felt that their color was the hue that should be. I will admit, the color that it is now is still damn impressive! Not to mention I still think that Pernod Fils is still the best absinthe ever made. Well, that I have tasted so far!

The color of the Premier Fils did hold a pale greenish color. Yes, it was natural but it was still not very remarkable. I feel the ratings a congruent to my opinion. Heure Verte asked, "I wonder why some vintage absinthes like Pernod Fils or Edouard Pernod went brown and some others like Premier Fils stayed really green. Probably the recipe?". It could very well be the recipe or it could be the way in which theses absinthe had been stored. I wonder, has any one ever found a wooden Pernod Fils shipping carton that was still fully intact? I would be interested to see how that absinthe would look if it had been kept at a steady temperature and out of the light after it had been bottled.

I only partially agree with jmfranc's review of the aroma. I still have a feeling that for what ever reason the aroma and flavor of the flowers and herbs used in this particular bottle of Premier Fils had mellowed out behind the wine spirit to a point that made them somewhat hidden. After discussing this absinthe with a few others on this site I will say that many came to this very conclusion. However, I did not find it at all to be watered down or reminiscent of a light perfume. It was certainly potent and yet soft. It was as Oxy put it very subtle and a strong feminine counter part to blockbusters such as Pernod Fils or Berger. I feel that my marks were made accordingly.

I can't say that I agree totally with jm's assessment of the flavor either. Ok it was light but it was still distinctive. It was not very robust but all in all it had it's own merits. It was very mellow and delicate. I feel that the floral nuances had faded over the years but I did not find the sample to be undrinkable. I felt that it was smooth and quite palatable.

Oxy has a made a point that this absinthe is unique and should not be compared side by side with absinthes such as Pernod or Berger and I agree to a point. Yes, they are worlds apart but so are the Jades and older Un Emile's. I think that most people on this board would find it hard not to make the comparison in a review. The older Un Emiles absinthes are still very nice. They have a pleasant aroma and an agreeable flavor but they seem to be made under the protocols of an absinthe ordinaire rather than the absinthe suisse method utilized by the Jades. The color of the older Emile's although naturally colored seem pale compared to the Jades and the weaker louche seems to reiterate that notion.

So in all I agree with Oxy that like today there were many different absinthes that were worlds apart from one another. Lending us a view that shows that Pernod Fils was not the only way that it was done. I mentioned in my review that although this was not what I was expecting I was not let down! The chance to try any vintage absinthe is a chance I am willing to take! I would someday like to try a Junod or an Oxygenee a Berger or Duval perhaps! To think that they all had such unique characteristics really excites me and makes me anticipate the next chance I will get to taste another vintage!

I hope to see more reviews of the Premier Fils soon! I know that there a few of you out there that have volumes to add! It would also be nice to see a review for some of Edouard and Pernod Fils that have been floating around as well. Hartsmar has a review of some Legler Pernod on his site! Write a review over here buddy!

Oh, nice photos by the way! I am still working on mine.
Here are my pics of the Premier Fils sample.

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

Sorry about the poor picture quality. My camera is pretty sad!
i had a sadly small (yet very much appreciated) taste of the Premier fils from the same cache, before it left for the four corners of the universe.
i thought the floral scent was quite exceptional and haunting. after tasting vintage Edouard, Pernod fils, Legler-Pernod, Taragonna, and C.F. Berger, i would have say if i was offered a glass of one of them, i would take the Premier fils, simply because i can find the 'power' and intensity of the others in recent clones, test distillations and HG, but the elegant, feminine beauty, not yet...
Good stuff all, thanks for taking the time! -s
Hey PV!

You had some of that Legler a while back! Wow! I am envious! Was it similar to the other Pernods?

I hope that someday I get the chance to try Premier Fils again, perhaps from another bottle.

I definitely think that this type of absinthe has its niche. There are times that I would
really like a subtle well-nuanced absinthe. Maybe I’ll have to give one
of the new Un Emile’s a try?

By the way, what ratio did you use?
I always enjoyed Un Emile's aroma...
>By the way, what ratio did you use?

for the Premier fils?

two tiny drips of water on my tiny drip of absinthe.

it was not anything like the samples sold or shown...just a crotch-sniff of an extremely attractive beast, but enough to know this was a very lovely beast...

the legler was what i would call a 'real vintage absinthe experience', but because none of the samples can be 100% identified as coming from a documented, fully labeled bottle, well, one must be more laid-back about it...
I would say that apart from the Berger, the Legler-Pernod is the finest pre-ban I've had. It is (at least the sample I had/have) extremely smooth and so rich and full of taste! Mmmmm.
QUOTE(pierreverte @ Dec 10 2005, 05:09 AM) *

...just a crotch-sniff of an extremely attractive beast, but enough to know this was a very lovely beast...

There are special clubs for people like you in Japan, you know that Peter, don't you?
here i am researching the new 'happy fun-time vintage absinthe sample machine'....
I really enjoyed my same of this product. Thank you so much Oxy for the unquie experience. Hats off to to you!
QUOTE(sunsetbrew @ Dec 12 2005, 06:09 PM) *

I really enjoyed my same of this product. Thank you so much Oxy for the unquie experience. Hats off to to you!

I do love me some Engrish.


Better do what it says.
here i am researching the new 'happy fun-time vintage absinthe sample machine'....

That's certainly a "shocker".
QUOTE(Head_prosthesis @ Dec 12 2005, 07:30 PM) *

QUOTE(sunsetbrew @ Dec 12 2005, 06:09 PM) *

I really enjoyed my same of this product. Thank you so much Oxy for the unquie experience. Hats off to to you!

I do love me some Engrish.

What can I say, I had a few that night! Besides, engrish is my bestest subject. abs-cheers.gif
Donnie Darko
I had the Premier Fils last night.

I don't have my notes on me so I'll post the score later, but to summarize, I think this beverage is an apparition of a great absinthe. I think age and other unknown factors have probably deteriorated it a bit, but I didn't think it tasted bad or wrong, which leads me to believe this absinthe was very non-traditional from the get-go and they eschewed anise for other more floral perfumy herbs. The palate to me seems like the intention was to create an outstanding alcoholic beverage that was a departure from the creamy anise based absinthe norm.

It ain't no Pernod Fils or Edouard, but I still enjoyed it throroughly. The alcohol base was outstanding and could be considered a work of art on its own, even without the herbal accents. It is a lightweight in terms of mouthfeel, louche and other typical absinthe charcterstics though, so I can see why some weren't impressed. It almost seemed like an attempt to merge a high quality armagnac type liquor with some herbal traits common to absinthe.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2018 Invision Power Services, Inc.